Replica bridge plan to keep Hull's Banksy in its place

Proudly bearing an artwork by world-famous graffiti artist Banksy, a bridge in Hull has become a tourist attraction in its own right.

The Banksy graffiti on the Scott Street bridge
The Banksy graffiti on the Scott Street bridge

So moves to dismantle the Scott Street bridge - dear to many as a quirky local landmark with its two raised decks - have sparked considerable opposition.

Hull Council insists that the 117-year-old structure, which has been closed for the past 22 years, poses a hazard to shipping, saying a “bridge strike of even minor proportions” could lead to the “immediate” collapse of one of the decks.

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But opposition from Historic England, Hull Heritage Action Group and Hull Civic Society, among others, has seen the council adapt its plans.

The Scott Street bridge - a well-loved landmark in Hull

It is now planning to replace the decks with “skeletal” facsimiles, and eventually reinstate the Banksy. Councillors meet this week to vote on the council's planning application.

The artwork - entitled ‘Draw the raised bridge!’ - appeared on the grade two listed bridge last January and was later posted on Banksy’s official Instagram page.

It still attracts a steady stream of visitors.

The latest proposal suggests cutting out the section of the existing bridge deck with all the graffiti surrounding the Banksy, and then mounting the artwork “with suitable protection screening” on the bridge approach.

Both the graffiti and the Banksy will go back on the new deck on the west side of the river, once the bridge work is done.

However Historic England still has concerns about the lack of detail, including timescales and how it will look.

The council is planning to put up interpretation panels and make a feature of the bridge as part of its “Yorkshire’s Maritime City” project.

But the watchdog says it will be “critical” to make sure the improvements are done in a “timely manner.”

“Subject to this matter being addressed we would no longer object to this application,” it adds, in a report to councillors meeting on Wednesday.